General Women’s Health
A pap smear is a simple test that checks for abnormal cells in the cervix. A pap smear allows for early diagnosis and treatment of abnormal cells so that they do not become cancerous. For more information about pap smears, click here:
For more information click here. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq085.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121001T1123516922
If you have an abnormal pap smear, your practioner will talk with you about follow-up care. This may be a repeat Pap smear, test for HPV or colposcopy. If these follow-up tests indicate precancerous cells, you may need treatment to remove those cells. For more information about abnormal pap results.
For more information about abnormal pap results, click here:
This depends on your age and medical history. For information about what to expect at an annual exam, click here:
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that you do not douche. The vagina cleans itself naturally and douching can lead to an increase in infections and irritation in the vagina. For more information about douching, click here: http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/douching.cfm#d
If you are concerned that you might have an STI, you should see your health care provider immediately. Many STIs have no symptoms at all or symptoms that are common with other infections. For more information about the most common STIs and their symptoms, click here: http://women.webmd.com/features/could-you-have-std-not-know
NJ Gynecology can treat your male partner for many STIs. To make an appointment, click here:
There can be many reasons why you have a heavy and painful period. For some women, a heavy period is normal. For others it may be sign that there is a medical condition that can be treated, such as endometriosis or fibroids. To know for sure, you should speak with your health care provider. For more information about heavy periods, click here: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003150.htm
An irregular period could be caused by many different things: pregnancy, menopause, change in diet or exercise or even stress. If you’ve skipped a period or had a month that isn’t normal for you, but have a negative pregnancy test or no other symptoms, it’s usually ok. Many women experience an irregular period now and again. For more information about irregular periods, click here: http://women.webmd.com/tc/missed-or-irregular-periods-topic-overview
All women should do monthly breast checks, regardless of family history of breast cancer. A self breast exam involves feeling your breasts for any lumps or changes while standing or lying in different positions and looking in the mirror. If you notice any changes or feel any lumps, you should be evaluated by your health care provider. To learn how to do your own breast exam, click here: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/self_exam/bse_steps
HPV is the human papillomavirus and is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the country. There are more than 40 different kinds of HPV that can affect both men and women. Some types of HPV can cause cancer while some can be cleared by your immune system. Generally, HPV causes no symptoms so many people don’t know that they have HPV. Because of this it is important to get regular screening for HPV at your annual exam. For more information about HPV, click here:
You can lower your risks of getting HPV by getting vaccinated, using condoms and limiting the number of sexual partners you have. For more information about the Gardasil vaccine and other methods of preventing HPV, click here: http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/Prevention.html
Menopause occurs in all women’s lives when they reach the end of their reproductive years. The term menopause is used to describe all of the changes that occur in the years leading up to the end of menstruation. A woman is menopausal when she has not had a period for one whole year—at this stage in life the ovaries are no longer releasing eggs or producing high levels of estrogen.
During the years leading up to menopause (called perimenopause) many women experience symptoms including: irregular periods, insomnia, mood swings, hot flashes, fatigue, vaginal dryness and changes in sex drive.
For more information about menopause and it’s symptoms, click here: http://www.webmd.com/menopause/guide/menopause-basics
Hormone therapy involves taking hormones to relieve the symptoms of menopause. Like all medical treatments, hormone therapy is not appropriate for every woman and carries some risks and side effects. If you are considering hormone replacement therapy, you should speak with your health care provider about what options are available and best for you. For more information about hormone replacement therapy, click here:
Pregnancy and Birth Control
Picking a method of birth control can be very difficult and a type of birth control that is great for one person might be a bad choice for another. How well a particular method of birth control works also depends on whether the method chosen is convenient — and whether the person remembers to use it correctly all the time.
Here are some questions to ask yourself to help find a method that is right for you:
- • Is this method safe for me?
- • Is this method easy to use?
- • Will I feel embarrassed using this method?
- • Does this method protect me from HIV or other sexually transmitted infections?
- • How much does it cost?
- • How often do I have sex?
- • How effective is it?
- • Do I have religious or moral concerns about this method?
- • How does my partner feel about this method?
- • How do I feel about touching my body?
For information on the different types of birth control available click here
If you think that you might be pregnant, it is important that you take a pregnancy test to be sure. You may choose to take an at-home pregnancy test that you can buy over the counter or see your health care provider for a test. NJ Gynecology offers walk-in pregnancy testing during our regular office hours at no cost.